10 Tips for Learning a Second Language

Learning languages is a challenge that more and more people are taking up. Fortunately, there are some strategies to make studying another language easier and more productive. Learn the best tips here!
10 Tips for Learning a Second Language
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 01 December, 2022

The experience of studying another language represents a challenge for those who dare to embark on this exciting journey. Bearing this in mind, in this article, we’ve selected the best tips for learning a second language because we believe that the learning process is as enriching and fun as the moment when you can finally have a conversation in another language.

We believe that learning another language brings many benefits in all aspects of a person’s life. Below, we’ll share with you some of the many advantages of knowing another language and some tips that will help you incorporate it into your life more quickly and effectively.

The advantages of learning a second language

The advantages of learning a second language can be seen in the work, academic and social spheres of those who undertake this experience. On the professional side, learning another language opens the door to new opportunities to get a job with better working conditions.

On the educational side, knowing another language increases the quantity and quality of study sources, since you can search for information in more than one language about the contents of your career. And, as if that weren’t enough, by knowing another language, you can score points for admission to a prestigious university.

In terms of social life, knowing another language will connect you with many more people and experiences. By expanding your social network you will add an important asset to the development of your personality.

Tips for learning a second language

tips for learning a second language
Total immersion in the language you are studying will accelerate the learning process.

The importance of these tips lies in the fact that they aim to reduce the levels of anxiety of those who are studying another language. It’s expected that at some point in the learning process you may feel like you’re not making progress and that it’s impossible to incorporate the grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation of the new language into your repertoire.

This situation generates stress and anxiety in many language learners, which can translate into a drop in study performance and a loss of interest in continuing learning. In this context, the motivations for learning another language are varied and range from a taste for languages to an obligation imposed for work or academic reasons.

The greater the pressure, the more anxiety will be generated. Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at the tips to learn a second language and make it an enjoyable experience. Are you ready?

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1. Recognize your motivations

Mastering a second language takes time, effort, perseverance, and a lot of willpower. If you’re not clear about the reasons why you want to learn the langauge, you may give up when the first obstacles appear.

Do you have friends or a partner who speaks another language and you want to learn it? Are you planning to travel abroad, apply for a job, or enter a university or are you just passionate about languages? All of these and many more are valid and compelling reasons for deciding to learn another language.

2. Look for the right learning center

The method of teaching a second language is key for you to acquire it correctly. There’s no one way of teaching that’s better than another because everyone feels more comfortable with different techniques.

Maybe what is useful and convenient for you is not for others. Whether you take online or face-to-face classes, make sure that the schedule is intense so that your contact with the new language is frequent.

3. Intensify your contact points with the language

It’s essential that you don’t just stick to the content you study in class, but that you seek to interact with the new language in as many areas as possible. For example, watch a series in the new language with subtitles in your mother tongue; or, conversely, listen to audio in your language and subtitles in the language you’re learning.

You could set up your cell phone and your social networks in the language you are studying. Also, whatever you have to search on the Internet, do it in the other language. The idea is to soak up the new language and read and listen to it everywhere.

4. Use the applications on your cell phone

You can download dictionaries to your phone so that you always have the opportunity to look up a word you don’t know. Also, try subscribing to podcasts that are of interest to you to find yet another way to immerse yourself in the new language. Similarly, try reading the news in digital newspapers in the countries where the language is spoken.

5. Use music to your advantage

tips for learning a second language
Music is a very fun way to learn a second language.

Singing is a great way to learn a language. Download the lyrics of songs you like and try singing them while understanding what they say. You will be improving your pronunciation and training your ear in a very fun and efficient way at the same time.

6. Talk as much as possible

Practice the new language out loud, either on yourself, with your peers, with friends you can make on the Internet, with native speakers, with your classmates from the language course, etc.

We often get fixed on this point because conversing with people whose native language you’re learning is very beneficial. That’s because you will improve your vocabulary and pronunciation considerably. In addition, you have the possibility to learn current idioms and idiomatic expressions that you won’t find in books.

7. Use your free time to learn the language

As mentioned above, your leisure time is useful for learning a language. Whether it’s through movies and series, video games, magazines, books, and all the hobbies you have, try to experience them in your new language. You can participate in discussion forums on the topics that interest you and read the comments of other users and leave your own.

8. Travel abroad

Although this is not essential, it will be more productive to learn another language if you can travel to a country where it’s spoken. This complete immersion in a place where only that language is spoken is very beneficial and the results are really incredible.

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9. Process what you learn

Each word or structure that you learn must be applied in other contexts and sentences so that its acquisition becomes fixed. Look for synonyms and other ways of using the new expressions and pay attention because you will surely find them in movies and newspapers.

10. Learn by playing

There are gamification techniques that propose playful learning that’s very productive for those who are learning a new language. For example, you can download word games or quiz games in the language you want to learn.

Tips for learning a second language: Remember that everything adds up

No matter how old you are or how difficult the language you want to study is, acquiring another language is always worthwhile. The idea is that you can add your own strategies to these 10 tips that we have presented to make the learning process more effective.

Finally, remember that we never truly finish learning a language or even our own language, but are constantly incorporating new knowledge. That’s what makes language learning so enriching.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Cesteros, S. P. (2004). Aprendizaje de segundas lenguas: Lingüística aplicada a la enseñanza de idiomas. Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alicante.
  • Richards, J. C., & Lockhart, C. (1998). Estrategias de reflexión sobre la enseñanza de idiomas. Cambridge University Press.
  • Beltrán, M. (2017). El aprendizaje del idioma inglés como lengua extranjera. Revista Boletín Redipe6(4), 91-98.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.